Weapons, poppy seeds found in Wolverhampton shop

By Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter

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Momie's Supermarket in Dudley Road, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton (Photo: Google Street View via LDRS)

A stash of weapons and dozens of large bags of poppy seeds were uncovered by police and licensing officers during an inspection of a Wolverhampton shop.

Kabul Singh Momie, who runs Momie’s Supermarket in Dudley Road, was stripped of his premises licence at a hearing on Wednesday (June 16) for a string of breaches.

These included the sale of single cans of alcohol, CCTV not being recorded or kept for 31 days, no cameras outside and no records of staff training – all of which contravened conditions of his licence.

Members of City of Wolverhampton’s licensing sub committee were told the breaches were uncovered on a number of visits in December 2020 and then in February this year, adding Momie had failed to rectify them.

But in written evidence submitted to the hearing, officers said they discovered knives, a steel baseball bat and a machete on one of the visits.

There were also 75-100 large bags of poppy seeds “from the ceiling to the floor”, which can be used in the production of Opium. Momie told officers this was for cooking and no further action was taken.

At the hearing, Momie said the breaches occurred because he had been ill with pneumonia and assured members everything had now been rectified.

But, despite licensing bosses recommending a suspension of the licence of three months, the committee opted to revoke following a request by West Midlands Police and public health.

In a statement Aimee Taylor, of the police, said: “At the back of the shop, where Mr Kabul Singh was originally sitting, were knives, a Machete and bats.

“There was also a large industrial fridge full off poppy seeds. There was a very small gap in the wall that leads to a box/storage room. In this room there were roughly 75-100 large bags full of poppy seeds from the ceiling to the floor.

“Poppy seeds are known to be used as part of the production of Opium.”

At the hearing, Taylor added Momie had been given sufficient time to rectify the licence breaches but had failed to do so.

In response, Momie said: “I’ve provided everything now, cameras are working outside and inside, notices are here.

“I had health issues. I had pneumonia and was in hospital and needed a little time but now everything is done. I will comply now and I’m very very sorry.”

But when he was asked to produce evidence of health issues, he failed to do so.

Michelle Smith, of Public Health, said: “The persistent breaches of licensing conditions are concerning with particular reference to the single can sales breaches.

“Single can sales have been shown to significantly contribute to irresponsible drinking amongst those who suffer most.”